The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, is accepting applications for a volunteer to assist with strawberry genetics work. Requirements: Applicants must be a US citizen, must be at least 16 years of age, must have a valid driver's license, and, if male, must be registered with the selective service. Volunteer hours (at least 10 per week) should be in blocks of four hours or more at a time during the week (M-F) between the hours of 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. The minimum commitment is at least four months. Successful candidates will gain experience working with plant molecular genetics, with the possibility of transition to a paid position starting Summer 2012. Preference will be shown to those who can demonstrate a strong work ethic and an interest in research, genetics or plant breeding. The USDA/ARS is an equal opportunity employer. Description: Volunteer work will begin with basic laboratory support techniques (media and solution preparation, autoclave use, dish washing, laboratory organization). As soon as the volunteer has demonstrated mastery of these tasks they will be incorporated into a project using high-throughput DNA isolation to build a collection of population DNA. This population will be genotyped using microsatellite (SSR) markers in high-throughput PCR. The resulting data will be analyzed with specialized software and used in linkage analysis to find markers associated with a valuable phenotype. A variety of molecular biology and tissue culture training will be available to add to your resume. The ability to occasionally assist in greenhouse and field settings is a plus. Application deadline: October 14th, 2011: Applications will be accepted by e-mail to Andy Funk at [log in to unmask] Please send an e-mail responding to the requirements listed in this announcement. Attach your resume and a schedule indicating the hours you would be available to volunteer, including a start date.